«Enough with the licensing market: we need to liberalize the taxi sector»

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«Increasing the number of licenses is a short-term solution. We need to carry out an overall reform of the sector.” Andrea Giuricin is one of the leading experts in Italy, he does field research and is a transport economist at the Milan Bicocca University.

Andrea Giuricin Transport economist at the Bicocca University of Milan. (Imagoeconomica)

The taxi emergency does not seem to be over, in the big cities there are still few of them despite the high demand. Is it a realistic photograph?

The demand for non-scheduled mobility has grown significantly in recent years, also driven by the increase in the number of international tourists. Just to bring some data, the number of international air passengers has almost doubled in the last 15 years, as Assaeroporti data shows. At the same time, the supply of white cars has remained stable in almost all major Italian cities and this imbalance between supply and demand causes the inefficiencies that the Antitrust Authority itself has highlighted.

Market liberalization is a long way off and now seems to have been removed from the political agenda. How come?

The political agenda has not coincided with the needs of citizens and tourists and politicians have often sided in defense of the taxi category. Unfortunately, the opening of the market to new operators, through an overall reform of the scheduled mobility sector, is not at the center of the legislator’s interest. There have been several attempts, but all failed and the result is what citizens and tourists often suffer with the various inefficiencies in the taxi sector, not only with queues, but also
with unanswered calls. A radical change of pace, a reform, would be needed.

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